Give 'em an inch
This is interesting:
House GOP Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) threw cold water on the proposed plan, which would temporarily extend tax cuts for the wealthy while permanently extending tax cuts for the middle class. “Taxes shouldn't be going up on anybody right now,” Cantor said.
Cantor’s comments Monday evening on Fox follow similar remarks from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the incoming senior Republican on the Senate’s tax-writing committee. While Hatch expressed an open mind to extending tax cuts past the 2012 election rather than permanently extending the rates, he also ruled out the decoupling proposal.
Cantor, needless to say, is incoherent since temporarily extending the tax cuts for the rich means that taxes aren't "going up on anybody right now." But that's not the point. It would appear at the moment that they would rather take the tax cut win now than have it around for the 2012 election, which I find surprising. Perhaps they are afraid that some populist sentiment might creep in over the next two years and people will balk at extending those rates beyond 2012. Or maybe they're scared that the deficit talk will eventually lead to the need to raise revenue and they're afraid that if they don't get their piece now, they never will.
I find that hard to believe, though. The tax argument always works in their favor. If the economy is still in the gutter, they can use the same argument they're using now, namely that raising taxes will make things worse. If the economy is improving, they'll say we shouldn't rain on the parade. Indeed, no matter what happens, their answer is always tax cuts.
And "deficits" are simply a code word for spending on anything but the military industrial complex and the police state, the two sacred government functions. People who are agitated about deficits are people who believe that the government is spending too much money on people who don't deserve it, not that it's not taking enough in from the wealthy.
Who knows? It's all fluid. But since the administration already offered up extending the tax cuts temporarily and the TeaBag party has rejected it, I think we can fairly say that's not going to be the end of it. Either they will end up extending them permanently or they will get something else they dearly want in exchange for "agreeing" to something they want just as much. Most likely both.